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Product Review: SmartThings Button

I have been an avid SmartThings supporter for some time now. For a DIY automation, solution SmartThings give you the biggest set of tools to build an automation system that can rival its professionally installed counterparts. The one thing SmartThings, as well as Wink and just about every other DIY automation platform,  are missing is a good scene controller. I have written about a couple of different solutions in the past, namely Amazon Dash Buttons and the Fibaro Swipe. While I am a big fan of the Fibaro Swipe it really is not for everyone and I have to say with its 3rd party integration with SmartThings it is a bit more than most people need, not to mention its price tag and availability puts it out of reach of most people looking just to control a couple scenes or any other automation. Well, this is where the new SmartThings Button enters, it is a small inexpensive single button Zigbee scene controller that I have been excited about since I initially heard about it.

good

  • Small
  • Inexpensive
  • Can toggle on and off
  • Can easily be concealed

bad

  • Limited to Zigbee range
  • Could use better mounting options
  • No native multi-push support
  • Inconsistent SmartThings App feedback

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In my experience with the SmartThings Button, it performed very well. I was able to toggle lights and scenes on and off with it and fit perfectly into my application. I had been using a Fibaro Swipe mounted under my writing desk to control the lamp I have on the desk that has a LifX Bulb in it. Obviously, the Fibaro Swipe was overkill but I had it and it did what I needed it to do. One issue I always had even when using the Fibaro Swipe in other applications was my cats setting it off. The SmartThings Button in my desk application does exactly what I need and I do not have to worry about my light being on for days because a cat walked across the desk. I used the double-sided adhesive supplied with the SmartThings Button to mount in on the underside of the desk so that I can easily toggle and do not have to worry about a cat putting its ass on it.

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In this application, the performance difference between the SmartThings Button and the Fibaro Swipe and even the Fibaro Button that I also used in this application was night and day. With both Fibaro products, I had to deal with a considerable delay which I always attributed to the LifX Bulb and the API integration with SmartThings. Well, with the SmartThings Button I have next to no delay so is it possible that the delay I was experiencing with Fibaro was because of Z-Wave or the 3rd party integration I had to use to get them into SmartThings?  Whatever caused the delay I dealt with it and it is amazing now to not have to deal with it and have a lamp that turns on and off when I press the button.

My biggest complaint about the SmartThings Button is that it really appears as though no thought was put into mounting it. The double-sided tape that was included is high quality and works well but the only place to put it is on top of the battery door on the back side of the SmartThings Button. I tested this and tried to remove the battery door from the SmartThings Button when it was mounted. The battery door twists and locks into place and does so with sufficient force to keep it closed. Unfortunately, because of this, it is just not possible to remove the battery door without ripping off the double-sided tape. It seems to me that an easy solution would have been to make a small hole in the battery door for a screw to go through and allow you to screw mount the SmartThings Button or make the battery door pop on and off instead of twist. I think this was a big miss but hopefully, time will tell me that the battery life on the SmartThings Button is good enough where I can deal with changing some double-sided tape every few years.

 

The other complaint I have is that I would love to see native multi-push support. I do not understand why the would limit native support to just single press. For me, this is not really a big issue as I can overcome this with WebCoRE but it just baffles me that Samsung would not include this in its own implementation using native Smart Apps. Other than that I have a small annoyance with the SmartThings Classic App where it always shows the SmartThings Button as “pressed”. I am not sure why but I very rarely use the SmartThings App anyways so I will get over it.

The SmartThings Button performs very well and outperforms the Fibaro Button (and Fibaro Swipe for that matter). My comparison to the Fibaro Swipe is a bit like comparing apples to rocks however as the Fibaro Swipe is able to do so much more, I just do not have an application for it at this time.

Overall Rating

four-star

The SmartThings Button has the ability to be a great addition to any smart home in the SmartThings Ecosystem. It can come in especially handy when dealing with the wife acceptance factor and you need to give your significant other physical control over a smart device. For the price of the SmartThings Button, there really is no reason not to pick up a couple.

Anyone using the SmartThings Button? Let me know your applications in the comments below.

 

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Mike View All

I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.

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